Krista Trent, who teaches fourth-grade math at Thornville Elementary in Thornville, Ohio, insists that the word “can’t” doesn’t exist in her vocabulary—not for her, and not for her students. She uses her passion for teaching, high expectations and a keen sense of humor to push her students to make great gains in her class. Trent focuses on building skills, not raising test scores, but naturally her student outcomes shine: Her classes score at the top of the Northern Local School District on state and value-added assessments. Students leave Trent’s classroom with the skills they need to succeed in higher grades, the desire to become lifelong learners, and the understanding that working hard is a pathway to success. When fifth-graders decorated the sidewalks with work showing what they wanted to be when they grow up, the assortment included more than a few aspiring math teachers.
Trent insists on excellence, expecting more from her students than they know they are capable of. She works to provide all students with a sense of accomplishment, from gifted to those with special learning needs. Trent’s students participate in their own learning, self-checking at different stations within the classroom. She helps students who need extra help or challenges during class, before and after school, and even at lunch and recess. Known as a masterful differentiator, Trent attended specialized training to enable her to serve gifted students for enrichment without having them pulled out of class.
Trent serves on Thornville’s leadership team and works to improve all student outcomes, including writing skills and other subjects outside her core area of expertise. She contributed testimony at the state level when math standards were being revised and is a leader in the district for math curriculum and instructional practices. Trent plays an important role in the school community, attending PTO meetings, having coached volleyball and happily taking her turn in the dunk tank during carnivals. On the school’s Positivity Project Leadership Team, she helps build good character in students, the school and the community. She takes the lead in contacting reluctant parents and always brings a positive plan to move students forward. When she embarked on a personal wellness journey, she shared her success and led an exercise program for her colleagues, inspiring staff members to focus on their health and make positive lifestyle changes.
Trent earned her bachelor’s degree of science in middle childhood education with concentrations in language arts and math from Ohio University in 2007 and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Ohio Dominican University in 2010.
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